Well, it’s been quite some time since I’ve posted an entry and I apologize for that. Life doesn’t slow down and in Nursing School it feels like it speeds up!
I wanted to share some of my progression. I completed Fundamentals and Pharamcology/Dosage Calculation last term. I could’ve made a better grade in Fundamentals but my HESI kicked me in the butt. Now, I am taking OBGYN and Med-Surg I. Here are some things I’ve learned so far:
You are a nursing STUDENT and cannot possibly know everything.
I know that I often question my ability to do this: complete nursing school and become an excellent nurse but I can! There is so much to learn and know. Do not be so hard on yourself. Be patient with yourself!
You already know much more than you did before!
I can now look back and see how much I have learned… yes, there’s so much I do not know and so much I am still unclear on. It makes me very anxious but I have come so far! I can only get better from here.
Nursing School is nothing like High School or any other college courses you’ve taken.
Boy, did I learn that! I used to be able to basically get away with not studying at all for many of my college courses… this is impossible in Nursing School and you simply can’t do it. People’s lives are gonna be in your hands. They will depend on your critical thinking skills. Use that to drive your ability to actually learn the knowledge!
Take time to organize or you will suffer.
At the beginning of each term once you’ve been handed your syllabuses and possible outlines you need to get organized. Use a planner. Make a calendar in word. Whatever works for you! I was using my Erin Condren planner but this term I created a monthly-view of both my classes schedules with exams and important assignments due as well as I printed out my assignments due from Jupiter (what my school uses to track our grades.) So far, this has worked extremely well for me. Expect changes and do not freak out! Already we have a change to some of our clinical schedules… just scratch out the old and re-write in the new, no biggie. In Nursing, you need to be as flexible as possible.
Take time to study DAILY and do your assignments ahead of time!
Make sure what you study is in regards to what you are studying in class and for the upcoming exams. You may also sometimes take time to study things you are still trying to memorize that are vital such as lab values! Also ensure you do your assignments ahead of time in case you are too fatigued to do them on day of or in case something comes up – this will save you from anxiety and a possible zero.
Utilize your book and other free sources.
Use your book! No, you don’t have to read word for word but you should read important key points. Usually items in boxes or tables are vital. And if the chapter has a summary I would recommend reading that. Often you may come across topics you do not understand by reading it alone go to youtube or google and find a video or a picture to help you understand the concept better. You will NOT believe how many FREE videos and photos there are to help nurses and student nurses!
If you are really struggling you may want to INVEST further.
By this I mean if you are an auditory learned like me and don’t get much from reading and may have extra money from your financial aid there are websites that can help you further such as Simple Nursing which has a video bank, dosage calculation, NCLEX section, and so forth. Keep in mind that a lot of these websites have free videos and etc on youtube and on their website so you may not need to purchase anything. But I for example purchased Mike’s video bank and dosage calculation to try to help give me an extra edge.
You can also join facebook pages that might help you by giving you instant access to other nursing students and documents that might have tips for your classes!
Prepare for NCLEX type questions.
More than likely your school is already preparing you for NCLEX withyour exams having NCLEX-style questions, making you turn in 240 NCLEX questions a term, and so forth… but do you really understand how to read these questions? How to answer these questions. If your school has not provided you with a NCLEX book, buy one: Silvestri’s is suppose to be one of the best. Also, you can view what the NCLEX questions will be focused on by viewing the NCSBN’s Test Plan. Many NCLEX books follow the test plan to gear you up to pass the first time.
Take time for yourself.
Whatever you do to relax take time to DO it. This doesn’t mean neglect your studies but you need to have fun so that you don’t get burned out or can prevent feeling so stressed out. I usually play video games to relax or go out to a movie. So, DO that. Whatever works.